Abstracted by Greg Arnold, DC, CSCS, March 20, 2012, from “L-Carnitine Improves the Asthma Control in Children with Moderate Persistent Asthma” printed online November 23, 2011 in the Journal of Allergy. Posted April 4, 2012. r/km
Childhood asthma has been called “a major public health problem” by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Childhood asthma increased an average of 4.3% every year from 1980 to 1996. It accounts for 14 million missed school days each year, is the third-ranking cause of hospitalization among those younger than 15 years of age, and costs society $3.2 billion each year (1).
Now a new study (2) suggests that L-Carnitine, shown to benefit exercise recovery (3), may also benefit lung health in children. In the study, 50 children diagnosed with moderate asthma (as defined the National, Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute) (6) were given either 1,050 mg of L-Carnitine (given as 3 350-mg capsules each morning) or placebo each day for 6 months.
Before and after the study, all children provided blood samples and their asthma was assessed via the Childhood Asthma Control Test (7). With test scoring between 0 and 27, a score of 19 or less indicated that the asthma may not be well controlled. The children also completed a lung function test with a spirometer to measure lung capacity.
By the end of the study, the results were:
For the researchers, “From our best knowledge, this study was the first to investigate the benefit of L-Carnitine supplementation in asthmatic children. In the current study, [lung function was] significantly improved in the asthmatic children who received L-Carnitine supplementation than in those who did not.”